I’ve long admired the work of Da’Shaun L. Harrison. Like many of those I’ve come to encounter and adore over the past few years, Da’Shaun’s work came across my timeline on social media and their incisive and invigorating intellectual offerings have had me hooked since. Da’Shaun is a Black, fat, queer and trans theorist and abolitionist, and in their debut book, Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-fatness as Anti-Blackness, they argue that to live in a body that is both fat and Black is to exist at the margins of a society that limits us in ways we may have never considered.
In our conversation today, Da’Shaun expands on the connection between anti-fatness and anti-Blackness, explains how diet culture persists as a tool of social control and offers up ways of thinking about how the policing each of us might do of our own bodies invariably impacts how we interact with – and even judge – those around us. Like all of the best intellectual work, Da’Shaun’s intervention is grounded in a political awakening that took place at the community-level, where they say they felt safe and brave enough to explore who they wanted to be in the world; and so we also discuss how community-building has shown them what the future – or, a beyond as they call it – could look like, and they make a compelling case for the power of our imaginations to help us think beyond what we know.
About Da'Shaun L. Harrison
Da’Shaun L. Harrison is a Black, fat, queer and trans theorist and abolitionist in Atlanta. Harrison is the author of Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness, and a public speaker who often gives talks and leads workshops on Blackness, queerness, gender, fatness, disabilities and their intersections. Da'Shaun currently serves as the Editor-at-Large for Scalawag Magazine and is the co-host of the podcast Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back.
About Busy Being Black
Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.
Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community.
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Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black.
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